Dr. Masako Miura with her daughter and son
Dr. Masako Miura with her daughter, Denise Kodani, and son, Hans Goto.

TORRANCE — A 100th birthday celebration was held for Dr. Masako Kusayanagi Miura on June 21 at the Miyako Hybrid Hotel in Torrance. She turned 100 years old on June 29.

She was one of the first doctors of medicine to help start up the hospital with her husband, Dr. James Goto, at Manzanar War Relocation Center in March 1942. She was known as “Dr. K.” at that time.

After the war ended, they returned to Little Tokyo and started their practice in the Professional Building on East First Street. Dr. K. and Dr. Goto delivered many babies, being available on call. Many times they traveled at night to make house calls or to the hospital to deliver babies.

After she left the practice, she worked as a physician, specializing in dermatology at Fort Ord in Monterey, where she retired.

Her daughter, Denise Kodani, and her son, Hans Goto, attended the event. She also has one surviving sister, Sakae Sally Okabe, 95, many nieces and nephews and their offspring, who celebrated the joyous occasion with her.

Of note, she was one of two female students in her Class of 1940 to graduate from USC Medical School. She currently resides in Watsonville.

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  1. Dr. Masako Kusayanagi Miura is a noteworthy person at the Manzanar National Historic Site for her pioneering efforts at establishing the hospital there. And then on to work as a medical doctor in Manzanar and later at Topaz, Utah from January 1943 and on even after her daughter was born in February, until the WWII ended and camp closed.